February is Responsible Pet Owners Month
Food and Shelter
Our recent blog post, Seven Ways to Get Fit with Your Pet, discussed and provided resources for choosing the quality and quantity of food that is right for your pet. Ideally, your pet would become a member of your family, which means your home would become their shelter too. Consider organizing your space so that everyone understands clearly where and how your pet will sleep, eat and drink, and go to the bathroom.
Healthy bodies need regular exercise. The heart is a muscle and exercise keeps it strong. That effort also results in a more alert brain, a more resilient immune system, and a body that is less prone to disease and injury. When it comes to dogs, different breeds have different needs. Check this article by The Bark to figure out what kind and amount of exercise is right for your pet. Play is the best form of exercise. Get creative, build in variety, and stay active. When you just can’t get to it, Run Those Dogs has got your back. Our motto is, ‘A tired dog is a happy dog.’ But we can also help keep your other pets active and challenged.
Monitor Pet Health
An annual veterinary visit is universally recommended because pets are ninjas when it comes to hiding pain. Their health also includes hygiene and grooming. Be sure to cover the basics like bathing and teeth brushing and remember seasonal issues like fleas, ticks, mites, and worms. Grooming for dogs can be breed-specific. Check out this web site for guidelines specific to your dog’s breed.
Spay and Neuter
Preventing your pet from unplanned reproduction may be one of the most important responsibilities of a pet owner. Thankfully, there are options. Your veterinarian can help. There are also spay and neuter clinics, some are mobile and/or seasonal to offer lower cost options. Or head to the ASPCA web site to search by zip code for low-cost options in your area.
Pets who are trained in basic obedience are easier to live with and love. That makes them, and you, happier. A trained pet is also a safe pet. Obedience classes for dogs by trained professionals are valuable. When you just can’t afford it, library books and web sites can help cover the basics. The key to success is practice and consistency. A trained dog knows her job and place in the pack that is your family. That makes her comfortable and more cooperative.
Although cats are another story, their training is just as important. For example, keeping them off eating surfaces will keep you both healthier. Teaching them where its okay to condition their claws will save your furniture and help you both get along a whole lot better.
Just as humans learn how to navigate the social world, so to must our pets. We teach them how to behave with other animals, visitors, strangers, and the rest of the world by letting them practice at home and in public. Sometimes they fail, but that moment is our opportunity to help them learn. Teach children how to interact with pets in kind and respectful ways. That is most easily done when you lead by example. But be sure to supervise small children until you’re sure they know how to interact with pets safely.
Keep Them Safe
Safety permeates every aspect of your pet’s life. Areas worth considering include:
- Using a professional pet sitter when you’re out of town. Friends are a great help, but using a professional service like Run Those Dogs can ensure that your pet is safe and well-monitored while you’re away. It also allows you to save those friend favors for when you really need them.
- Safe vehicle travel can include using a secured crate, a harness, or a safety net. Choose what’s right for your vehicle and pet.
- Pet-proof your home with this general checklist from American Humane that covers every room of the house, and
- Evaluate your back yard with this checklist from Pet MD to account for landscaping, fencing, and more.
- IDing, licensing, and microchipping your pet will help you both if you are ever lost or separated.
Love Your Pet
Could this be the most important responsibility? Pets are companions that need love, care, and devotion. They should become a part of the family. Take time out of your day to give attention to your pet. They live for your happiness and responsible pet owners try hard to do the same.
At Run Those Dogs, we are honored to help you be the best pet parent you can be. We are here when you need us.